Kvapil 13th in 36th Annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals Opening A-Feature

Photo courtesy of Bruce Nuttleman

Ron Lemasters | 1/11/2022

Carson Kvapil Chili Bowl News

JRM Late Model driver Carson Kvapil raced on opening night Monday at the Tulsa (Okla.) Expo Raceway, earning a 13th-place finish in the A-Feature.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Jan. 11, 2022) -- The 36th annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals is the official kick-off to the racing season every year, and for the past several, JR Motorsports has been well-represented in the annual gathering of open-wheel racers.

Late Model driver Carson Kvapil, a graduate of Millbridge Speedway's Outlaw Kart and open-wheel ranks, raced on opening night Monday at the Tulsa (Okla.) Expo Raceway, earning a 13th-place finish in the evening's A-Feature.

It was Kvapil's second Chili Bowl Nationals attempt. In 2021, he advanced to the B-Feature and finished 22nd.

 

 

The 18-year-old Kvapil, son of 2003 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Travis, won several championships on the dirt oval at Millbridge, just a few miles from JRM's campus in Mooresville, N.C., on his way up the ladder. The young driver is set to campaign JRM's No. 8 Late Model this season on the CARS Racing Tour schedule, along with other high-profile events.

The Mooresville, N.C. native started first and finished second in his heat race to begin the night in his No. 22M Spike. He then placed seventh in his qualifier, which put him in seventh position for the opening-night B-Feature.

Unsure of how the dirt surface would react to a longer event, Kvapil bided his time once the race got under way. "I didn't know where the track was going so I rolled the bottom," he said. "Our car was really good down there and I was able to pick some guys off. I finished third and they took four cars to the A-Feature."

In the 24-car A-Feature, Kvapil was forced to start on the outside line on a track that was much better suited to the low groove. Fortunately for Kvapil, six cars tangled up on the bottom line at the start and enabled the young driver to get past them all. From there, Kvapil went to conservation mode in an effort to maintain position, picking off three more cars before the checkered flag to finish 13th. The result slots Kvapil into the C-Feature on Saturday night.

"It was a good race," he said. "I managed to get nine positions before the end. In terms of Saturday, I think it is going to be tough (to get to the A-Feature), but it can be done. I saw some people come from way back to make the transfer every time, so I will really focus on the car and what it needs. Anything can happen."  

He'll have some good company in the C-Feature on Saturday, with Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman and Chase Briscoe, among others.

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